Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday--on Wednesday

It is Thursday again.  I have wanted my Thankful Thursday posts to be regular posts, but unfortunately it does not seem to have turned out that way.  This week has been full of thankful things.  It started out on Saturday, which I suppose was last week--who is counting though.  On Saturday my family celebrated our Thanksgiving.  With all the craziness of the Thanksgiving weekend, we never had the chance to do it.  Mike had been wanting to try deep frying a turkey so we purchased a turkey fryer at a Black Friday sale.  It was  a great deal!  To date, the turkey was the best we ever had!!  So flavorful!!  We had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, sweet potato casserole, dinner rolls, gravy and pumpkin pie.  We also made a ham--thought we would make one just in case the turkey did not work out.  We sliced it up and put it away since the turkey was so wonderful!!  It was such a wonderful time with Mike and the kids.

Tuesday, I experienced a first for me.  I am part of the "Kindergarten Team" at Cub Run Elementary School.  Our team decided to have a cookie exchange.  I had never done one of those.  Everyone made 2 dozen cookies (in some cases people made more) and we brought them to school yesterday so that everyone could make a plate of cookies.  It was so fantastic!!  You only make one kind of cookie, but you get to have a bunch for the holiday.  Loved it!

Today is Thursday.  This means tomorrow is Friday.  Yet another wonderful thing to be thankful for.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


 For Thanksgiving we went to my Uncle Bill's house to celebrate with extended family.  We have been doing that for several years.  Ever since my Grandmother began living in an assisted living facility.  We have such a great time getting together with family once a year!  Family is so important to my Uncle!  Just as important as it is to me!!

Just before heading to Uncle Bill's house, we stopped by to see my Grandma (Dad's mom) for a bit.  My aunt, uncle and part of their family were there. My Grandma has Alzheimer's and was having a hard time staying awake while we were there.

Are we going to dance on the stage?!

 On November 20, 2010 Lydia and Emily had a dance "showcase" where they preformed on stage with their dance class.  This was not their recital.  They will have that in the spring, but this was a fun time for them where they "showcased" one dance they have learned in dance class. 

Their class did a mini-Sleeping Beauty dance.  They were not out on stage too long, but it was such a cute little dance.  When I announced that we have to get ready for dance class quickly so we won't be late (the following Monday), with stars in her eyes, Lydia said "Are we going to dance on stage again?!"  I think that whole being up on stage/star stuck thing has hit her!  :)

The girls with their dance class, sitting in the auditorium waiting for the program to start.
I walked up to the front row to take pictures.  At the point where all the little girls were supposed to appear asleep, Emily "slept" sitting up like all the other little girls and Lydia completely laid down to sleep.  So funny!
This dance school has dancers of all ages.  This young lady is a Junior at one of our local high schools.  The gentleman dancing with her is a dancer from the Richmond Ballet who came up to be part of the showcase.  Showing the students what they can strive to be. They did such an amazing job!  What a fun night!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Halloween!  What a great holiday! How completely amazing to be able to pretend to be someone else for a day!?  Forget your worries and your troubles and just basque in the glory of your childhood.  Share stories with your children and laugh at your memories as you make new ones.  It is fantastic!!  I love Halloween!!

This Halloween was a busy one!  We had two fun-filled days of events which made us very tired and very full of candy!!  On Saturday morning we met up with our friends, Frances, Henry and Benjamin and participated in the free, downtown court square Halloween festival.  The children walked through down-town, trick-or-treating at the different stores and establishments.  It was great!!

 This is Ben.  He is a friend of Henry's and Benjamin's.  Ben's costume . . . he was "two tired."
 Here we are collecting candy from a business owner.  I thought he was going to scare one of the kids, but he was really funny.  He kept making funny sounds and the kids kept laughing.  Thank goodness.

 We stopped at the Smokin' Pig to trick-or-treat and Rabia and I split an order of fried pickles and the kids split a large order of french fries.  They were yummy and warm on the chilly morning.  Benjamin could not share in the french fries so he just ate his stroller straps.

 Henry's costume was very near and dear to my heart.  Ryan wore this very same costume at that age.  Soooo cute!!
 There were games to play, silly putty to make and a costume contest.  The kids were pretty wiped out.
 Saturday night the kids and I went to Glowfest.  Glowfest is a Halloween festival that is hosted by a local community church.  It was so neat!  They had bounce houses, games, food, puppet show, Guitar Hero on a huge screen with gospel music, candy, candy and more candy.  For the games you played, candy was the prize.  It was so fun!
 Lydia sliding down the huge slide in one of the three bounce houses.
 We played some games, ran into lots of people we knew, had some dinner and had a ton of fun and it was free to the community!  In this day and age and with the current economy, it was so nice to see this alternative to the traditional Halloween celebrations, for the kids, and about the kids.

 Before our Trick-or-Treating, the kids and I attended a Halloween/Birthday party and then met up with Adella and Penny (our cousins) for some down to business trick-or-treating.  Before meeting up with them, we stopped at Nannie and Pap's and then headed to Grammy and Paw Paw's house.  We have Wonder Woman, a Blue Fairy, a Leopard, The Cat in the Hat and Batman.

 We stopped at Ann and Bill's house and then darkened the doors of some other people in Grammy and Paw Paw's neighborhood.
 Completing our trip, we made our traditional last stop at Grammy's house where she always makes a big deal about "these cute kids!" even when my brother and I were little, and then proceeded to fill every one's pumpkins with even more candy.  Thank goodness everyone had a sugar high . . . we might not have made it though the weekend!  :)

Makin some sauce

From all the stories I heard as a kid and from what I tasted, my Grandma Leftwich (Dad's Mom) has always been known for her cooking.  Each holiday we would all gather at her and my Granddaddy's house and would feast on a spread of amazing food!  One of her most famous dishes was her applesauce.  Absolutely the best applesauce, worldwide!!  Before she became so sick with Alzheimer's, and could still remember how to make her applesauce with a little bit of help, my Dad, Mom, Mike and I went to her house to make it with her.  Since then, each year we make a bushel of apples worth of applesauce.  We have now made it a tradition with our children and they love to make it!!  Unfortunately, they will never know of the amazing cook who started it all, but I have plenty of stories to share!!

 My mother has this awesome "Apple, Corer, Slicer, Peeler" from Pampered Chef.  This makes peeling and cutting the apples so much faster and easier!  First time using it, it paid for itself!  I have no idea how long it would take to do all those apples by hand.  Ryan, Lydia and Emily each had a turn using it.


Once all the coring, slicing, peeling and cooking was done, everyone took a turn running the apples through the sieve.  Not quite sure why Lydia has her shirt off.  I suppose it must have been a workout peeling all of those apples!
We ended up making about 31 containers of applesauce to freeze and eat.  So far, they have all been quite yummy!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our Annual Trip to Carter's Mountain Orchard

 Several weeks ago we took our (becoming) annual trip to Carter's Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville. This year we went with our good friends, the Settles. We all had such a super time!! Such a great tradition each year!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dance Presentation

 Today Lydia and Emily had a dance class presentation at Autumn Days in Elkton.  I took this movie, but the quality is not that great.  They have such a great time in dance class and dance around with such ease, but when they were put in front of people this morning they seemed a little awe struck at the amont of people who were watching.  Also very funny seeing all the kids trying to mimic their dance instructor as she modeled what they were supposed to do.  This has been such a great experience for both of them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finally Bloggin again!

Wow!  It has been since the end of June since I did any blogging.  We have had some unfortunate extended family issues over the past few months that have made blogging not as important.  About two weeks after our family reunion (my last post before today), my Aunt Judy became very sick.  She is one of my dad's sisters.  The middle child to be exact.  After some strange symptoms, she and my Uncle Freddie decided to check things out.  A brain tumor was discovered.  By the time it was found, it was already 2 inches into her brain.  Her family was told there was nothing the doctors could do for her and she only had about 3 months to live.  The 6 1/2 weeks she actually had remaining proved to be a very poor quality of life for her.

My Aunt Judy passed away on Friday, September 17, 2010.  6 days before her 67th birthday.  She left behind her devoted husband Freddie, her three wonderful children . . . Shawn, Michelle and Bradley and 4 sweet grandchildren . . . Cameron, Nathan, Emma and Addison.  At the funeral, I was honored to be able to say a few words about her.  It has all been very surreal and I still expect to see her at the next reunion.  She will be greatly missed!

Her life is now in heaven, but her spirit lives on.  She was a wonderful person who loved, laughed and lived a full life.  She always told me how much she enjoyed reading my blogs and I will miss sharing them with her.  Judith Marie Leftwich Storz . . . I love you lots and will remember you always.

It's Soccer this time!

 Last year Ryan played flag football.  We have told our children that they can play one sport per season.  We asked Ryan if he wanted to play football again this year or play soccer.  He tossed it around for a while and finally decided, after changing his mind a few times, on soccer.  He is LOVING it!!!